Friday, September 26, 2014

The 29th Negros Trade Fair

The 29th Negros Trade Fair

September 24 to 28, 2014
Glorietta Activity Center
Makati, Philippines

I am so proud to be from Negros Island.

Living in Manila for a couple of years now and I am ALWAYS missing home. The food. The people. The nightlife (YES, we party hard!). The places. HIDLAW is the perfect Hiligaynon term which means the longing for someone, something or some place.

I always go to The Negros Trade Fair to get that "bulong sa kahidlaw" which means to heal the longing.

I will tour you now in the country's longest running trade fair. Welcome to The 29th Negros Trade Fair!

We came around 7PM on a Friday night and the Glorrieta Activity Center was packed with Negrenses and lovers of Negrenses alike. I was with my friends January, Alden and Rachele and we were all famished after the day's work.

The food --- do I need to say more?

Negrense food --- home is where your stomach is. Inasal, KBL, Cansi and loads of rice.

Mindblowing dessert Brazo de Mercedes from Elsie's at The 29thNegrosTradeFair. It proved once more thatLIFE IS INDEED SWEETER IN NEGROS.

With Bacolod friends and a convert to our la dolce vita. Great food and wonderful people. (L-R moi, January, Rachele, Alden)

I was transported back to Bacolod and Negros for a few hours. The smell of chicken inasal from the aptly named booth Inasalan sa Dalan (Grilling in the Streets) and the lure of the desserts all around were just too sweet to resist.

These are a few of my favorite things

at the Glorietta Activity Center

Virgie's Cheese Tarts
Mariel's Cookie Melts from Silay City
El Ideal - one of the oldest bakeries in Negros
Dulce Gatas

And the exquisite design of my friend Ina Gaston for Hacienda Crafts:

And look they included my brother EDBON SEVILLENO's watercolor paintings! 
Thanks Ms. Ina and Sir Joey :)

And don't forget to grab a copy of our documentary film 
PUREZA: The Story of Negros Sugar by Direk Jay Abello

The art scene in Bacolod and Negros Island has a lot to offer in every genre and every medium available. You can take a peek into our art scene during The Negros Trade Fair. 

I also had the chance to see my friend Paul Sumagaysay (from the town of Binalbagan, a municipality 2 hours south of Bacolod) who is a portraitist and painter. He is also the son of the late Negrense artist and portraitist Lor Sumagaysay. I am so happy for Paul to follow in his father's legacy. He also told me that many came to commission him to do their portraits and some paintings. 

Seeing old friends from La Salle-Bacolod's Mass Comm: DLSU-CSB's Carrie Mendoza and Danjugan Island's island manager Dave Albao

Buy from this booth's little gifts and you can help Danjugan Island's efforts to preserve the reefs and marine sanctuaries in the Philippines. A big shoutout to Mr. Gerry Ledesma and Kaila Ledesma-Trebol for continuing their noble efforts to preserve the bounties of the oceans while educating others about it too.

KICULO BAGS from my friend KitKat Cusi-Lobaton

My friend Joba is my model for these bags :)

Shells with tassels put together in a charming ensemble ---

We have this in our house: flattened glass bottles as unique chimes ---

Weaving through time is how we see the designs of the tradition and arts of our ancestors. These are colorful banigs and woven cloths in different indigenous materials. This is also a salute to The Negros Trade Fair for encouraging both traditional and contemporary art to be showcased in Manila.

The fair also offered some usual treats with surprising twists like the Oregano Piaya. 

A special thank you to fellow La Salle-Bacolod Mass Comm alumna Tep Hilado-Lindaya for entertaining our million questions.

Reminiscing All Star MassComm days back home :)

Hats off to you Tep and your team for this year's fair!

Please see Press Release below from Organizers:

Official Poster for The 29th Negros Trade Fair

Smiles Beyond Borders

So goes the theme of the 29th Negros Trade Fair scheduled for September 24-28 at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati. Moved by the destitution that followed the Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda, the Association of Negros Producers (ANP), organizer of this annual exhibition, has challenged its members to share the blessings of their craft to people living in communities affected by natural calamities and armed conflict.  Disaster relief must be sustainable, not only in terms of emergency food and medicine, but in helping locals find new livelihoods so they can rebuild their lives. Almost a year after Bohol and Yolanda, many are still homeless, let alone jobless.
Members of ANP, led by their Chairman Mary Ann Colmenares and President Jojie Locsin, visited communities in Bicol, Cebu, Masbate, northern Negros, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, and Antique. They bought raw materials that otherwise may be sourced closer to Bacolod, if not for the need to help alleviate the situations in devastated and distant areas. They hired locals to gather shells, pandan leaves, wood from fallen trees, and coconut shells and lumber. At the trade fair in September, expect to find calamity-inspired products, including Hacienda Crafts’ Macramé Pendant Lamp that uses woven baskets from San Remigio in Cebu, Tumandok’s Haiyan Collection of furniture constructed from coconut wood from San Dinisio in Iloilo,  NVC’s “The Story of Maria Luisa”, a mosaic art collectible depicting the life of a two-year-old in Palo, Leyte, who lost her mother to Yolanda, Jojo Vito’s Festival Dolls Collection wearing shells from Bantayan Island and Molocaboc Island, Marayo’s Sea Jewels necklaces and bracelets adorned with shells from Cebu, Artisana’s Yolanterns decorated with coconut shells from Leyte, and the pandan-woven Bantayan Tote of Kiculo. Some of these products are also winners of the 2014 Bulawan Awards, a competition that the ANP holds to push its ranks to create high-quality, high-design merchandise. No doubt, products like these will creep into the hearts of buyers, but it will also give buyers an avenue to help. Shoppers will even more distinguish the Negros Trade Fair for this wonderful emotional experience.
ANP members are experts at helping. In the 80s, ANP was established by visionaries who built handicraft businesses to give alternative livelihood to farm workers displaced by the sugar crisis and insurgency. ANP’s original guards may have given way to the next generation, but the calling remains.
The Negros Trade Fair is the longest-running provincial trade fair held in Metro Manila every year, a feat made possible by the support of the provincial government of Negros Occidental. There are over 80 selling booths to be filled with the latest merchandise from ANP’s five sectors, namely, Furniture & Furnishings, Gifts & Housewares, Fashion & Garments, Food, and Natural & Organic. There will also be hot food featuring the best of Negrense cuisine, headlined by the original chicken inasal. The famous piayas, mango tarts, and other pasalubong delicasies will also be available.
The five-day trade fair will include the following events: Arima! Preview Cocktails on Sept. 23, the official opening of the trade fair on Sept. 24, the NVC Foundation Thank You Day on Sept. 26, the 8th Tipon Negrosallians on Sept. 27, a reunion of Metro Manila-based alumni of the University of St. La Salle and St. Joseph School. It will also feature the Balay Kalamay Exhibit: The Story of the Sugar Industry of Negros in collaboration with the Sugar Regulatory Administration and Victorias Milling Company.
The 29th Negros Trade Fair will be open from 10am to 9pm on Sept. 24, 25, and 28 (Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday) and from 10am to 10pm on Sept. 26 and 27 (Friday and Saturday). Entrance is free. For more information, call 034-434-1000 or 0917-312-1664. Follow the Negros Trade Fair on Facebook, or send an email to



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